According to the Christian Post late last week, David C. Cook Publishing plans to publish Tullian Tchividjian’s next book. Even with the scandal swirling around Tchividjian, David C. Cook’s chief advancement officer Tim McDonald told CP that the publisher was “committed to him [Tchividjian] and his family as a publisher…” For a hint of what might be in the book, see this previous post.
David C. Cook’s response drew a negative reaction from some of Tchividjian’s critics. For instance, Wartburg Watch’s Dee Parsons tweeted:
Due to David Cook Pub’s willingness proceed w/ Tullian Tchividjian’s book, I will not buy anything further from them and I like to read.
— Dee Parsons (@wartwatch) December 4, 2016
Christian publishers likely face a dilemma when faced with bad behaving authors. One cannot stay in business without sales and yet there is a higher expectation for Christian publishers to act as a kind of filter for Christian buyers. In DCC’s case, the situation seems complicated by the publisher’s status as a non-profit organization. One might think that profits might not carry the same weight. However, according to the organization’s most recent IRS filing, the publisher does well in the money making part of the business.
Although DCC spent over $4-million more than revenues, the organization shows assets of $124-million with liabilities of nearly $44-million. The group showed revenues of $26-million during the 2015 fiscal year. Leadership is paid well for a non-profit seller of Bible-based materials. The CEO Cris Doornbos made nearly $450,000 in reportable compensation. Five executives made over $250k with 19 additional executives who made over $100k. As is true with many Christian non-profits, profits are not irrelevant to the organization’s bottom line.
Although these salaries and sales may seem large, the advances to some Christian authors have been in the $400,000 neighborhood (e.g., Mark Driscoll).
With that kind of investment, it will probably take more noise from potential buyers to dissuade DCC from publishing a best selling author.